Recently I've been doing a bit of digging around as to why my blog has not been performing that well in the eyes of the mighty Google lately. And I've discovered the backlink boomerang. Nope, that's not a real techy name, I just came up with that. Now. You're welcome. But what am I even on about?! And why's this backlink shebang bad for ya?
🔍 Backlinks: These are links placed on other website pointing at yours. You can check which websites are sending traffic your way here. These are still one of the most valuable influencer factors of Google's SEO ranking. The 'better' the website mentioning you the more positive the impact is on your blog. This is where sponsored posts come in play (when they ask you to link to their website as 'follow' - these are the links that Google scans).
Now why are my comments hurting anyone then, I hear you ask. I thought commenting = engagement = good. Well, listen.
Including backlinks in comments is a very controversial topic in the blogging world. Should you or should you not include a link to your blog when leaving a comment on your favourite website? It can improve your Google rank, it can harm your Google rank. It can do nothing to the other blogger, it can damage their Page Authority. Well, it's a difficult one but I say YES just because in my humble opinion it looks very neat and I find it easy to go and browse the reader's blog that way. But there is a big BUT though. A few buts in fact.
✒️ Write comments that add value: Always make sure that your comment adds value and is relevant to the blog post. Everyone, absolutely everyone and their cat hates getting bloody generic comments that mean nothing and are so very obviously just a few copy & paste words. 'Hi, I love your blog - check out mine!! + link'. Just don't man. Compliment them on the new lipsticks, perhaps you've got it in your stash too? Why do you love it? Why do you hate it? Do you like the blogger's aesthetic? Is there an advice you want to give? Just put some effort into it please.
✒️ Sometimes just don't leave the link: There are instances where I just find it deeply offensive & insensitive to leave a link in the comments. When the author writes about their dying mother, cat or a divorce - just don't.
✒️ Don't let Google think you're a spammer: This is the key point which I know has been affecting me and I'm working hard on reconciliation. Essentially when a website has a lot of poor generic comments pointing to poor websites with follow attributes then Google will penalise it and possibly even de-list from the search results. You can read more about Google guidelines here. This doesn't necessarily mean that your blog is classed as a poor quality website however you going on 5742984632 blogs leaving your link in comments with 'Check out my blog' can be viewed by Google as spammy. It also works the other way round - if a blog contains a lot of comments like that the ranking can be affected because they 'allowed' this spamming.
✒️ When you're leaving it a link, do it right:
If you really want to leave your link in the comments section but want to also protect your favourite blogger (and yourself - because some bloggers will delete your comments and some will straight up block you from commenting which could result in your website being flagged as spam too!) then do the links right. It's easy to avoid the Google wrath by implementing the following:
The code for adding a clickable link to a blog comment goes like this:
<a href="BLOG LINK ADDRESS">BLOG LINK TEXT</a>
What I urge you to add is this the no follow attribute so the whole line looks like this:
<a href="BLOG LINK ADDRESS" rel= "nofollow">BLOG LINK TEXT</a>
By adding the no follow attribute you are protecting both yourself and the blog you're leaving the comment on - the attribute means that Google will not evaluate the link and will simply just skip it. So the functionality of you leaving a link to your blog stays, the risks associated disappear. Boom!
After reading this I'm sure you'll understand why I tend to edit my comments - I either delete your link or add no follow attribute where I can. And you should do the same!
You can read more about this topic on these clever blogs:
I hope you find this helpful - and if so then please do share it with your blogger friends!
What's your stance when it comes to links in blog comments?
Yes - no - or just the no follow way?
FANCY MORE BLOG IMPROVEMENT TIME?